Rickmers Maritime Seeks to Restructure Debt


By MarEx 2016-09-15 20:28:04

Singapore-listed Rickmers Maritime, which owns and operates 16 container ships, said on Thursday it was seeking noteholders' support to restructure debt worth S$100 million ($73.21 million) in a bid to avoid potential liquidation.

The business trust also said it was unable to repay $179.7 million of senior debt due March 2017 due to adverse market conditions. "Rickmers Maritime needs to restructure its debt to operate as a going-concern," it said in a presentation to noteholders, a copy of which it sent to the stock exchange.

It is seeking bondholders' approval to convert their debt into S$28 million of new perpetual convertible bonds with a step-up coupon starting at 3.88 percent, to avoid potential liquidation or judicial management, which it said would be "likely to result in zero recovery for noteholders".

The company's struggles reflect the overall downturn in the shipping market, with South Korea's Hanjin Shipping last month filing for court receivership after losing the support of its banks.

Rickmers Maritime needed to put in place refinancing plans for all its debt after auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers flagged significant doubts about the group's ability to continue as a going concern in its 2015 annual report, its chief financial officer Tomas Norton de Matos told IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Rickmers Maritime posted a net loss of $55.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 due to reduced charter rates and lower vessel utilization amid a worsened charter market. Vessel operating expenses increased by five percent year-on-year to $10.2 million due mainly to higher bunker consumption from vessel repositioning between charters, off-hire, and increased vessel idle time.

The company’s stock closed down 13 percent on Thursday.